**I realize there are so many theories and ideas when it comes to parenting; I’ve read Babywise and Dr. Sears, and everything in between. (Erin, does this sentence sound familiar?) I don’t find that I identify with one theory alone; I find that I take a bit of this and a bit of that and throw it into my mix of parenting. Obviously, I tend to identify more with attachment parenting than babywise but I am in no way, trying to put down one style over another. I merely want to share why I’ve chosen to parent in this way.
I never intended to co-sleep, its something that just happened. Our first night in the hospital, I didn’t want to let Devyn go. She’d been a part of my body for so long and it felt strange to have her sleeping apart from me. That first night, I slept with her cuddled in the crook of my arm. Nurses were in and out of the room all night, taking our vitals, taking blood, etc., they all tried to get me to put Devyn in the bassinet but I just couldn’t do it.
When we brought her home, I swore that she’d be spending nights in her bassinet. I had good intentions, I swear I did. However, the minute I laid her in the bassinet by our bed, she woke. We spent a few nights trying to get her to adjust to her bassinet but to no avail. We finally found some solace in her vibrating, bouncy seat and it became the only place she would fall asleep and stay asleep. (We wore the vibration piece out in no time!) So, there we were, both a bassinet and a bouncy seat by my side of the bed, but I still found myself waking every hour to lean over the bed and make sure she was still breathing. Finally, I pulled her back into bed with me, settled her into the crook of my arm, and drifted into a deep sleep. It was the best night of sleep I had gotten in a week. So, that’s where she remained, in bed with us.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I learned some valuable do’s and don’ts from letting Devyn co-sleep with us. For instance, it only works when BOTH parents are on board with the idea. Jon was done with co-sleeping way earlier than I was and I should have honored his wishes. And secondly, Hudson will not be sleeping with us for two years, like his sister did. Training her to fall asleep on her own and in her own bed was a nightmare. We’re thinking after our trip to Florida, we’re going to put him in the bassinet by our bed; a good year and a half earlier than we did with Devyn. So, with that promise and with the blessing of my husband, Hudson now has a place in our bed… for only a little while longer.
Honestly, I love co-sleeping, every aspect of it. I love the weight of my babies against my chest, or on my side. I love feeling the rise and fall of their chests. I love listening to the murmurs they make in their sleep and the deep, content sighs. I love feeling their hands stroke my face or my hair. I love the way their bodies curl into mine and find the comfort they seek. I love that I can lay on my side and breastfeed while sleeping. I love breathing in the scent of their hair and their breath. Even now that Devyn is putting herself to sleep and is sleeping all night in her own bed, she still prefers cuddling with me. We’ll lie in bed together and she’ll scoot over and get as close to me as she can while reading her bedtime story. *Sigh* There is nothing more precious than the sight, sounds, smells, and textures of my sleeping babes. They’re only this little once and I’m trying to soak up every moment that I can.